The French way of life is a concept often romanticized in popular culture. The refined French cuisine, its excellent wines, the countless cafés that adorn the towns in the French countryside and the bon-vivant lifestyle that many French people supposedly possess has made moving to France an alluring temptation for many. But it’s not just those who are looking for a tranquil retreat who flock to ‘l’Hexagone’ – the second largest economy in Europe mostly attracts expats who move to France for work purposes.
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Moving to France
France is the most visited country in the world. An approximate number of people who visit the country in a year is 83 million, according to the World Tourism Organisation. This is not surprising at all, given the fact there is a lot to see and experience in this fascinating country. Liberté, égalitié, fraternité (liberty, equality and fraternity) is the national motto of France. Foreigners moving to France will undoubtedly see the application of this motto in the everyday life of people.
Although francophones usually have an edge over even multilingual employment seekers, there are numerous multinational companies with a strong foothold in the French market that have a need for workers speaking English or other foreign languages. Not to mention the job opportunities that can be found in tourism and international trade. The French are very pride people, who are known to take excellent care of guests showing interest in the French culture and language. The 500-year-old Académie Française is still trying to preserve the French language by attempting to ban foreign, usually English, words.
Many of the expats moving to France do not settle in just with the aim to find a job gain financial stability. There are other things more attractive than that. From the renowned cuisine with high quality wine, to the beautiful countryside, theMediterranean coast of the Languedoc and picturesque chateaus , France an irresistible destination for world émigrés.
Expats removing to France are not only making just a lifestyle preference, but rather stating their very attitude towards life.
Accommodation in France
The process to buy a house in France is quite different from most Western countries. It’s highly recommended to use a real estate agent if you don’t speak French, even though their commissions can reach up to 15% of the asking price. These agents are experienced and it would certainly make the process smooth and less stressing. Another thing that might worry foreigners looking to buy a house in France, is that it’s not at all common practise to conduct surveys on a property before transferring ownership. It’s important to never rush into the purchase of a house. This is especially true in France, as it’s often difficult to back out of the deal even if you’re still in the early stages of the buying process.
Ensure that you are well-informed about the state of the building you’re looking to buy – the great effort to find an English speaking experts in case you’re not absolutely sure may well prove to be worthwhile, if not for negotiation ammunition then certainly for your peace of mind. Local contractors will be able to come up with a cost price for your repairs or renovations. Do keep in mind that property in France is usually old – which is exactly what usually makes it so charming. In these cases plumbing, isolation, sanitary equipment and kitchen utilities are usually not perfect to say the least. However, if you know where to look (or if you know someone who knows how to look) you can find hidden gems in picturesque towns on the French countryside at a good price, especially when compared to accommodation in cities. So if you’re looking for a picture perfect piece of earth to play house bells and bliss (the kind often described in romance novels) then start looking in France. Buying an apartment in a French city, especially Paris, can prove be a challenge. If that’s what you’re going for, your best chances are to find local real estate agents that can help you to find what you’re looking for.
Expats moving to France you will find plethora of housing options available. From reasonably priced studio apartments to farmhouses, cottages and chateaus, anything can be easily found. Depending on the region accommodation types vary. Therefore, you are advised to decide whether accommodation type or region matters more. While apartments and studios are more common for the metropolises, in the suburban regions French chateaus, farm cottages and stone houses are more prevalent.
Studios and apartments In France greatly vary in size, level of furnishings as well as price. Properties are usually rented out on a monthly basis with the possibility for a longer term stay, if you wish. Those who aim a short term stay can also opt to stay in a hotel, however, along with being expensive, it could also bring about a feeling of homesickness.
As for cottages that are common for rural areas of France, usually they are not offered for rent but rather for sale. That said, some cottages located near coastal areas, can be rented on a short-stay basis. Along with that, there are also cottages that are less expensive than the regular well-maintained ones. They can be found as “renovation projects” which means that they need significant restoration to make them suitable to move in.
Those who want to settle in a chateaux with rich history that are renovated with all the modern facilities that might be expected from luxurious accommodation types. But everything comes at a price, and if you consider moving in a chateaux, you might want to prepare yourself good for the financial part of the process, namely the price of the property.
The average housing price in France varies between 250 to 700 EUR per month. Do keep in mind, however, that the rates could be very different depending on size, location as well as the property type you select. It is in expats interest to take a look at various options before signing lease agreements. If you rent property in apartment buildings or government subsidized housing complexes, the monthly rent will include utility bills as well.
Along with the possibility to obtain the services of real estate agents, tenants might also want to check online and printed classifieds where property view dates and time are posted from landlords. Expats are recommended to take advantage of this opportunity since French landlords prefer doing business with people they have met. Moreover, you can also ask your friends and acquaintances to help you with information regarding good neighbourhoods or affordable properties close to where you are looking for one.
Overall, expats moving to France will not regret their decision. France is an amazing country that offers a good quality of life, with great self-development opportunities as well as landmarks that are arguably more beautiful than any in the world.
Shipping Furniture to France
Many foreigners moving to France either for long or short term stay opt for shipping container with their personal belongings and furniture. Along with personal preferences having the items that have a special meaning for you helps for easier adaptation in a new environment and country. Shipping container to France is not an easy process given the fact there are multiple procedures and documentation needed. Therefore, it is recommended to look up for as much information as possible on internet before taking any actions. Once information is collected, international moving companies have to be contacted for further details and prices. There are mutliple online platforms which offer free services to receive quotes from international moving companies. Although it is usual for prices to vary depending on international removal companies, poor quality ones might often be easily recognizable. If you sense that something is not going as it should be, it is better to look for other international moving companies. Those with good reviews, multiple years of experience in shipments to and from France are usually professional and trustworthy.
Working with international moving companies while shipping container to France may prove to be a smooth and hassle- free process. Professional international movers would certainly ensure an efficient, time and cost-effective shipment to France. Do make sure to leave feedback on the international movers you worked with. Whether you had positive or negative experiences your feedback could help many other expats for their international removals.